This baked penne, broccoli and ricotta dish is great for weeknights and potlucks. Leave the chicken sausage out to make it vegetarian.
Happy National Pasta Day, friends! In honor of today’s holiday, I have a very tasty and easy pasta dish to share with you.
I made this dish with the help of this gorgeous Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Pastaiola Set.
I’ve used this pot for all manner of blanching, steaming, and cooking by now (it also happens to work well as a canning pot for half pint jars!) and have taken to leaving it on the stove between uses, because I so enjoy seeing it there in all its gleaming glory.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today puts this pot to work twice. First, I use it to blanch off a bunch of chopped broccoli. Once it’s cooked, I use the same water to cook the whole wheat penne.
While the broccoli cooks, I browned some chicken sausage in a little olive oil and then drained it on a plate. Once the broccoli is bright green and tender, it gets drained and poured into the pan where the sausage had cooked.
From there, it’s a matter of building a sauce of pressed garlic and ricotta cheese. I wrap it up by adding the cooked sausage back in, along with the pasta, a healthy splash of pasta water, and a generous handful of grated parmesan cheese. Finally, it gets popped into the oven to melt the cheese and crisp the edges of the pasta.
I love having a petite pasta pot like this one in my kitchen, because it allows me to stay at the stove, rather than dripping water between the sink and the stove. I’ve long had a larger pasta pot, but rarely pulled it out because it was just too much for my regular weeknight cooking. This one is just so much more functional for my household.
Disclosure: Lagostina sent me this pasta pot to use and write about. No additional compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Baked Penne, Broccoli, and Ricotta
- 1 pound broccoli florets and stems, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound chicken sausage
- 12 ounces short whole wheat pasta
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Fill a pasta pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, salt the water well and add the broccoli. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until it turns a vivid green.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken sausage from its casing and brown in the pan, using a spatula to break it up into crumbles. Once it is brown, use a slotted spoon and transfer the cooked pasta onto a paper towel-lined plate.
- Tumble the cooked broccoli into the pan that had once held the sausage and reduce the heat to medium. Bring the water in the pasta pot back to a boil and add the pasta.
- Add the garlic to the broccoli, along with the ricotta cheese and the drained sausage. Stir to combine.
- When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and pour it into the pan with the other ingredients. Stir to combine and add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, along with 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add more pasta water, if it is too thick.
- Top with the remaining parmesan cheese. Slide the pan under the broiler to brown the top.